Is my 5-year dream of ICP and DFINITY shattered? Is there still a future? SNS-1 Decentralization Sale questions

Well said, @dominicwilliams. I can honestly say that I agree with every word of your last post, and not just this excerpt. In particular, I believe that the II (including Proof of Personhood) and the SNS framework are absolutely critical to the foundation of the IC. If you surveyed the community’s collective priorities right now, I think they would essentially agree too. But unfortunately we don’t have that data…yet.

@dominicwilliams let the world see more of this side of you. You can be very inspiring. This post was very digestible, I think you should continue with this vibe going forward. I think you should post this on other forums for more visibility.


Agree so much. That single post has changed my outlook back to bullish after becoming very demoralised. Would love to see more of Dom in other media as well, maybe even on Joe Rogans podcast kek


Your ideas on proof of personhood were what sold me on the Internet Computer. I was blown away by the idea of people parties as an anonymous way of claiming human verification. Thank you, and everyone at Dfinity, for this.


Running on big clouds makes the network infrastructure centralized as Dom said. Instead of Hertzner, imagine 3 or 4 of the top providers banning crypto nodes. That would like being the network down for days if not weeks before they can run a secure network again. I can easily see big cloud providers shut down these blockchains if they ever become a competitive threats to their business. The likelihood of Western governments banning data centers from running nodes without due process is far lower than corporations taking measures to protect their bottom line. We have already seen it happen. If all major countries ban crypto then it becomes irrelevant who can run a node or not. It would have very little use cases. Very few people would risk being criminal. No institutions would touch it. I find the idea that crypto can be untouchable from all governments, especially those from big democratic ones like the US and other western countries is unrealistic. A more realistic goal for decentralization security and censorship resistance from corporations and undemocratic countries imo. The United States by itself could probably kill crypto dream of ever being mass adopted by simply labeling everything a security without even banning a single node.


@lei we started a separate thread listing our SNS-1 Lessons Learned. I believe we cover all the findings you list in section 1:

1.1 User repeated deductions

Explained in Repeated ICP transfers.

1.2. Sybil Attack / Front-run Prevention

See Bots participating in the SNS decentralization sale and Use of airdrops. You point to various existing solutions to protect against bots. Indeed, we have also started discussing how we could build on existing community solutions and create a less manual and platform-specific airdrop functionality.

1.3. The Subnet node outage and congestion issues

We reported on the degraded performance of the NNS subnet during the SNS launch in a separate post mortem. This coincided with the SNS subnet got stuck bug explained in the lessons learned post. Of course SNS launches must sustain much more participants than what we have seen with SNS-1. However, I disagree with your TPS argument. If you only consider ledger transactions that were part of the SNS sale then your calculation is correct. However, transactions have a much more general meaning on the IC.

1.4. Lack of Rigorous Testing

You are right, a “public beta”, or maybe “alpha” is a good description of the SNS-1. We should have anticipated some of the limitations we hit before launching. We have identified various test scenarios that we have to run before opening up to further SNS launches.

1.5. Lock-up time

Yes, that was an oversight as explained in Neurons with randomized dissolve delays.

I hope that our explanations and transparent communication reassures the community that we learn from the SNS-1 launch and implement adequate improvements.


There would still be hundreds of ways to run a node VS the only one IC offers.

Not so sure about this. I’d say it’s more likely governments will want to shut down cryptos if it starts becoming a systemic issue, see Tornado cash, than all big tech turning down paying customers.

Crypto started out with the idea all of that would have been made irrelevant. A cryptocurrency like BTC might suffer in terms of price action if that were to happen, but an unstoppable and decentralized world computer? That is really valuable to a lot of people and would keep its value no matter how many roadblocks are put in place. It might not have the same efficiency and latency as your average web2 app, but the point of crypto is to be decentralized FIRST and efficient second.

The US does and has done lots of undemocratic stuff in the past decades, they are just better at marketing than others and slighly less bad than absolute dystopian countries.

The crypto dream was never supposed to be become rich buying internet money, but to create an alternative system that could survive any kind of attack.


Yeah but even the subnets with highest node count pale in comparison with other chains.

True, the idea is one should be able to choose based on its needs where to be on the decentralization spectrum, but at the moment Dfinity is building the network and optimizing the protocol with a specific set of assumptions: KYCed and permissioned nodes, powerful hardware, low repl count, fixed rewards, no staking/slashing, etc…

So for those who need less throughput and more decentralization there might never be an alternative on the IC, infact Badlands was kind of proposed as an alternative network, but I think it’d be nice if Dfinity kept in mind there is a need for more decentralized subnets too and didn’t corner themselves in a position that doesn’t make it possible to encompass those uses cases without forking the network.


In Dom and Dfinity we trust. I have the upmost faith, truely.

Having said that, I was highly disappointed by the SNS launch. This could of been a great way of showcasing the IC capabilities and I can’t help but feel, it was missed a opportunity.

Launches like this are rare occasions and I’m sure there could of been better ways of testing the technology, instead of doing it such a public and if im honest, such a disorganised manner.


I think Badlands is another example of a great idea that wasn’t given enough consideration before the public rejected it. The timing of the article’s publication didn’t help that.


I remember the evisceral reaction to it when Dominic announced it. Most people thought it was another way to fleece investors. To be fair, information was hard to get back then.

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Thank you, @lei for representing the ICP community and ICP investors with such a lengthy summary. It is much appreciated.

As we all know, ICP loyal fans are all over the world, on OpenChat, on discord, on Twitter, on WeChat groups, there are ICP’s most ardent fans all over the world. Most of us are not technical developers and have very limited computer knowledge. We only have the most primitive consensus and dreams, hoping that computer technology will still maintain the values of freedom, decentralization, and anti-censorship, to maintain our freedom of speech and data privacy. That’s why we have been investing and holding ICP for a long time.

Thank you also to the Dfinity’s technical team and @dominicwilliams for their patient and meticulous replies. Although most of us still don’t understand what you are saying, it is undoubtedly a great encouragement to see the leaders of the developers appear modestly in the community center.

Guys, please give the Dfinity and developers more time and patience. Please think about where you invest and buy a stock in the world, can u see the core developers and the boss come out to answer your doubts modestly and patiently, and appease your dissatisfaction. Not at all,all right? Only the blockchain and encryption community can see this.

So I ask everyone to give the Dfinity more patience and confidence. We will definitely see the ICP roadmap. Hold!


The problems around composability are not limited to principals. As far as I can see it, there are 3 separate issues that prevent the composability of services on the IC.

(1) II Principals generate separate IDs for different websites (as mentioned), which means an identity is not transferrable across different websites.

(2) Inter-canister calls to third-party untrusted canisters can prevent your canister from being upgraded, without inter-canister calls to untrusted canisters there really cannot be said to be any composability.

(3) Only the first canister in a chain of inter-canister calls has knowledge of the user agent that initiated the chain of calls. In Ethereum we have the tx.sender metadata included in the tx as well as msg.sender. In the IC, we only know of the canister that made a call to another service and not the end user, which prevents many composable services from being developed.

Ideally, all 3 issues would be resolved to enable composable services on the IC.


Psychedelic’s attempts to get Dfinity to back away from developing crucial infrastructure at the application layer were misguided, and were in part self-interested attempts to control DeFi and token issuance on the IC. That was a threat to decentralisation, and even for a 40 person team Psychedelic were a bit over-extended.
I think having dedicated teams work on single areas of focus would result in more interesting projects on the IC, and ultimately more competition between services.

Having said that, Psychedelic was right wrt the fact Dfinity should be laser-focused on the protocol layer. The fact of the matter is that other blockchain companies out there will be razor-focused on infrastructure and developer experience. Recent trends in blockchain have even specialised blockchain development into three components: data availability, execution and consensus, which can be optimised as independent modules. With so many other well-funded teams, and many other blockchain companies focused on sometimes just one “module” in the blockchain stack, there will be a heavy price to pay for not focusing on core infrastructure and developer ease-of-use.

Having said that, to me SNS/ICRC-1 and People Parties, which intend to bring us a common token standard, a way to bootstrap projects and mitigate spam on the IC, were good things and enhanced the developer experience and were IMO good for the community.


Hey @dominicwilliams thank you for taking so much time today to respond to this forum topic. It is very inspiring to read your explanations and vision. It would be great to see you interact on the forum like this more in the future. I know you are very busy, but engaging in a civilized debate when concerns are expressed by important community leaders like @lei is very smart and helpful. I’ve been inspired by your responses.

I also want to voice strong support for DFINITY picking up the People Parties functionality again. This is one of the roadmap initiatives that I have always believed is critical to decentralization for the reasons you outlined. Please pursue it full speed ahead, including asking for input from the community, but not letting the community persuade you to deprioritize it again. It might even be a good opportunity to offer contract with community members and/or organizations who have the expertise to participate on the team(s) that develops the solution.


I think that Dfinity is trying to create an end-to-end blockchain-based cloud computing solution, so the IC is destined to be a closed-loop ecosystem like Apple. This explains why Dfinity is developing SNS, II, and the People’s Party, which seem to be applications at the application layer. Am i right?


One of the best discussions and debates in the forum.
From a layman point of view, maybe not a popular opinion, but I do think that it is a mistake from Dfinity when trying to promote decentralization and letting the community be involved too much in this early stage of their network development.
In high tech, sometimes doing our own way and getting things done without listening too much from outsiders’ noises and opinions is not a bad idea.

To be fair, a 51% attack is also within the rules, doesn’t make it correct to attempt.

I agree to a certain extent, and I’ve already said that a benevolent dictatorship model can be quite effective during the highly iterative start-up period. However, once the community stakes become dramatically higher, there needs to be a transition plan towards more collective prioritization. Also, even under a benevolent dictatorship model, it would be very unwise not to keep a constant finger on the pulse of the community’s collective priorities, as I’ve argued above in this post:


Will that still be the case when ETH introduces sharding?